JOHANNESBURG – Golden Arrows sent defending champions Bidvest Wits crashing to their second league defeat of the season, as they ran out 3-1 winners, in an entertaining Absa Premiership match played at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.
The first half was played at a brisk pace with both teams looking to create the breakthrough via counter attacking play.
It was Arrows who opened the scoring in the 35th minute, when defender Siphelele Magubane produced a quality build up on the left, before providing a cross from a tight angle which saw Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs expecting the ball to his left.
However, the cross was delivered between the goalkeeper and the post as Arrows’ striker Lerato Lamola tapped the ball home in an empty goal net.
Wits coach Gavin Hunt may put the blame of the goal conceded on 19-year-old Reeve Fresler, who was caught out of position on the right hand of the field, but the youngster more than made up for the error, with his blistering attacking flair on the right flank for the hosts.
At the other end of the park, former Al Ahly striker Amr Gamal was proving to be more than a handful for the Arrows defence, and Wits nearly equalised in the 37th minute, when the Egyptian goal-getter powered in a shot which forced Arrows’ keeper Nkosingiphile Gumede to pull off a blinding save.
However, Gumede, named afterwards as Man-of-the-Match, was eventually beaten a minute later, when a cross from the right found Gamal, who held off a defender to score from close range.
Arrows were ahead again in the 55th minute, when home team second half substitute Kobamelo Kodisang lost the ball near the halfway line and an Arrows counter attack at speed saw defender Zolani Nkombelo put in a strong run, before blasting the ball past Josephs into the top of the Wits net.
With Wits pushing players forward in search of the equaliser, there was always the chance of being caught with another counter-attack. Arrows’ striker Kudakwashe Mahachi sprinted down the right flank before sending in a cross that second half substitute Nduduzo Sibiya ran on to, to score past goalkeeper Josephs from close range in the 91st minute.
Gamal and Eleazar Rodgers had good chances to level the score or even perhaps claim the win, but it was not to be as the league champions remain at the wrong end of the league table with 1 point from three matches, while Arrows have five points from three games.
Wits’ next league outing will be away to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, while Arrows will be a part of a KwaZulu-Natal derby, when they host Amazulu on Sunday.
African News Agency